Montpelier Vermont / poetry / VCFA

New Perspective on a Poem in Your Pocket

I’m back from Vermont and still trying to wrap my brain around all of the amazing people I met and things I learned. I may still be in shock that this is actually happening. When I began feeling overwhelmed during the residency, I went for a run and stopped on this special street to look at this:

Vermont Overlook - Andrea Beltran

Ok, now that I’ve had that peaceful moment again, I can tell you about another I had in Montpelier: Matthew Dickman talking to a group of writers about life after the MFA and how he washed dishes for six years after he graduated. He was still writing, but it was hard and stressful work. He mentioned that his mentor Marie Howe told him to keep a poem in his pocket while at work and if something bad or unpleasant happened, all he had to do was reach into his pocket and just feel that poem in there. What a testament to the power of poetry!

After that, I think I’m going to make every day a Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day.

What do you think about Howe’s suggestion? What poem would one find in your pocket?

8 thoughts on “New Perspective on a Poem in Your Pocket

  1. That’s a good suggestion. On a bad day, and I can get super crabby, a poem might not help. But for the regular blues, it just might work. Lucille Clifton had one that I was fond of…of course I forget the title, but I Instagramed it some time back.

    I want to hear more about this MFA life you are living. 🙂

    • I think that’s just the poem to carry, Evelyn.

      Vermont was such an experience. It’s comforting to be around people who can talk about books and writing all day, and don’t think you’re crazy for being there. The residency was at times overwhelming, but in a good way. I’ll keep you posted on what the rest of this semester entails!

  2. Hi Andrea,

    Its nice to take a break and come back , when you go in group its a amazing learning experience as well and refreshed body n soul.

    Coming to your blog in ages being off the blogosphere ..found you shifted to WordPress that’s cool. 🙂

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